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Gamli kanóki (Gamlkan)

12th century; volume 7; ed. Katrina Attwood;

2. Jónsdrápa (Jóndr) - 4

Gamli kanóki ‘canon Gamli’ (where the name Gamli, ‘the old one’ may itself be a nickname) is best known as the author of the poem Harmsól ‘Sun of Sorrow’, which is explicitly ascribed to him in a marginal note at the beginning of the poem on fol. 12r, l. 42 of the sole surviving ms., AM 757 a 4° (B): Harmsol er gamle orti kanokeHarmsól, which canon Gamli composed’. Gamli is also mentioned by name in Jóns saga postula (Jón4), where the author of the prose text prefaces the quotation of four sts from Gamli’s Jónsdrápa with the information: Annan mann til óðgirðar signaðum Johanni nefnum vér Gamla kanunk austr í Þykkvabœ, hann orti drápu dyrligum Johanni ‘As the second man to have composed a poem to blessed John we [I] name canon Gamli in the east at Þykkvabœr, he composed a drápa to S. John’ (Jón4 1874, 510). In a remark before the fourth st. Gamli is referred to as bróðir Gamli ‘Brother Gamli’ (Jón4 1874, 511). Þykkvabœr was an Augustinian monastery in south-eastern Iceland founded in 1168; Gamli was thus an Augustinian canon (or canon regular) of this community. His floruit can be inferred from the date of the foundation of Þykkvabœr as being in the mid- to late C12th.

file 2006-12-15 - Gamli kanoki w. MCR corrections

Jónsdrápa (‘Drápa about the Apostle John’) — Gamlkan JóndrVII

Beatrice La Farge 2007, ‘ Gamli kanóki, Jónsdrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 133-6. <> (accessed 22 May 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4 

Skj: Gamli kanóki: 1. Jóansdrápa (AI, 561, BI, 547-8)

SkP info: VII, 136

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Gamlkan Jóndr 4VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Jónsdrápa 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 136.

Hǫrðu lát mik hverju firðan,
hreinlífr faðir dróttar, meini,
— síðan mætti ór of eyðask
andar sôr — þvís ljónum grandar.
Flotna, vildak frá þér aldri,
ferðgeymandi, skiliðr verða;
uggr es mér, hvárt þá mák þiggja
þessa gipt, es heimar skiptask.

{Hreinlífr faðir dróttar}, lát mik firðan hverju hǫrðu meini, þvís grandar ljónum; mætti {ór sôr andar} síðan of eyðask. {{Flotna ferð}geymandi}, vildak aldri verða skiliðr frá þér; uggr es mér, hvárt þá mák þiggja þessa gipt, es heimar skiptask.

{Pure-living Father of the host} [= God], let me be removed from every hard evil which injures men; may {our wounds of the soul} [SINS] then be wiped out. {Guardian {of the troop of mariners}} [MANKIND > = God], I would wish never to be parted from you; I am anxious whether I shall be able to receive this grace at the time when worlds are exchanged.

Mss: 649a(47r) (Jón4)

Readings: [6] ferðgeymandi: friðgeymandi 649a    [7] þá: þat 649a

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 1. Jóansdrápa 4: AI, 561, BI, 548, Skald I, 266; Jón4 1874, 511, Bugge 1874, 934, Lange 1958a, 82.

Notes: [6] ferðgeymandi, skiliðr verða: All eds follow Unger in emending the ms. reading frið ‘peace’ to ferð ‘journey, troop’ since the metre requires aðalhending with verð- (Bugge 1874, 934 n. 1). — [7] þá ‘then’: The ms. reading is þat ‘that’. All eds follow Bugge in emending the demonstrative pron. þat ‘that’ to the adv. þá ‘then’ (cf. Bugge 1874, 934 n. 2). — [8]: The cl. es heimar skiptask refers to the departure from ‘this world’ to ‘the other’ or ‘the next’ at death (cf. Bugge 1874, 934 n. 3).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated